The theme for this wonderful moving hymn comes from the last book of our Bible, the book of Revelation. The writer reports that the Lamb will pick up a scroll and read. We are told that this was not just an any old scroll; it was the holiest of the holy. This scroll contained the divine plan of judgment and salvation. It was believed that no creature on earth was worthy to carry out God’s plan; only the Messiah could do it!
Jesus the Messiah read the scroll before all those in His presence, “the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb each holding a harp and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. (5. 8) “They sing a new song: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seal, for you were slaughtered and by your blood you ransomed for God saints from every tribe and language and people and nation; you have made them to be a kingdom and priests serving our God and they will reign on earth.” (Rev. 5. 9-10).
A new song is sung because through Jesus’ sacrifice this new area which the religious world waited so patiently for, had finally come into the realm of the world. The Lamb of God has brought into the world of sin, the divine forgiveness promised by God the Father.
It’s the message of forgiveness that captures my personal heart. To think that God’s love frees me and everyone from the consequences of sin. What a marvelous and glorious message for each believer in Christ to carry within our heart. Let me share an experience I had back a few years ago. One of my parishioners was a retired minister by the name of the Rev Jim Link. Jim attended most of our Sunday worship services. Because he was not only hard of hearing and also had poor eyesight because of diabetes, he almost always sat up front with his family.
The service I remember so well came about several years ago, but it will remain in my memory forever. We all stood to sing our closing hymn, which was I Love to Tell the Story. I looked over to Jim as we were singing this beautiful hymn. What I saw will remain with me forever. What I saw were tears slowing running down Jim’s cheeks.
It is no wonder when we think of this soldier of the cross singing words that touched his very soul. I can say that I also love to sing this hymn, for it too touches my heart and soul. Let us once again read the message and feel the love of God that every Christian is moved by as found in the Refrain: “I love to tell the story; ‘twill be my theme in glory; to tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.” Please pass me a tissue.
O gracious Loving God, how our hearts are moved when we hear and realize that Your love is greater than the anything else we can experience here in this life. Thank You, Lord, for people such as Jim Link who taught and served and lived Your divine message of eternal love. Through Jesus our savior we pray. Amen.